A crew of 15 Lexington firefighters rescued a dog that had fallen about 50 feet into a sinkhole Tuesday.
Drew Wilson and his father were walking with Vader on family property on Grimes Mill Road when the dog slipped into a sinkhole.
At first, Wilson said, he could see Vader, a mixed breed who is part Catahoula leopard dog, about 3 or 4 feet down.
"He was kind of spread-eagle looking up at me," Wilson said.
And then there was silence after Vader slipped down into the blackness.
"I called to him and didn't get a response," Wilson said. "I was sure he was a goner."
Wilson said he adopted Vader from the Woodford County Humane Society about a month and a half ago, and the dog loves to run around out on the property.
"I've taken him out there every week since we've had him," he said.
Wilson and his father discussed trying to go down into the hole but ultimately went to a fire station nearby for help.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 12:45 p.m. They first sent a camera into the hole to confirm that Vader was alive.
"He was down there walking around," Wilson said. "Even licked the camera."
Lexington Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Best said the hole opened up into "kind of a cavern" about 30 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Vader was down there about four hours before being brought to safety, he said.
After the dog was rescued, Wilson said a veterinarian checked Vader and pronounced him completely healthy, except for a few scrapes.
"It's a miracle in my book," Wilson said.